There is much to love about the great state of Kansas—the art and architecture, local cuisine, fun events, and the awe-inspiring landscape that tells the story of the past, present, and future of our state. The Kansas Sampler Foundation has designed a program that encourages Kansans to get out and explore the hidden gems found in the Sunflower State. It’s called the Big Kansas Road Trip, and it’s bringing people from across Kansas right through Trego County to visit three of our Northwest Kansas neighbors.
The Land and Sky Scenic Byway
The Big Kansas Road Trip (BKRT) is an annual event that puts a spotlight on a three neighboring counties. The 2019 event is focusing on the Land and Sky Byway, taking travelers through the communities and rural areas of Cheyenne, Sherman, and Wallace counties on May 2ndto 5th.
What You’ll See on the Big Kansas Road Trip
The four-day adventure explores the historical sites, shops, attractions, and scenic roads of Northwest Kansas at your own pace. The red carpet is awaiting you at the many lodging options and restaurants you’ll find along the way, and the BKRT Program Guide will make sure you don’t miss a thing!
Sherman County (Goodland, Kanorado, Edison) is famous for its celebration of our state flower with its Giant Van Gogh painting, but did you know it’s also the home of America’s first patented helicopter? You’ll find it at Goodland’s High Plains Museum.
You’ll also find the historic 1928 White Eagle gas station, John Deere Grasshopper sculpture, and the Kidder Battle Site where the 1867 massacre of the same name occurred within the county’s borders.
When you get hungry make a stop at Crazy R’s Bar & Grill for their delicious burgers and steaks or King’s Cafe, which is a great place for home cooking and pastries.
Cheyenne County (St. Francis, Bird City, Wheeler) offers visitors a chance to experience the amazing beauty of the Western Kansas prairie. Travel to the Arikaree Breaks to see a pint-sized Kansas version of the Grand Canyon, or stand tall at “Three Corners,” where Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas meet. At Cherry Creek Encampment and the Ancient Indian Traders Trail take a moment to reflect on our difficult history with the original people who claimed this prairie as their own.
When your day of exploring comes to an end, stop by the Fresh Seven Coffee at Union Square for a refreshing treat or Big Ed’s Steakhouse for a thick, hand-cut steak dinner.
Wallace County (Sharon Springs, Weskan, Wallace) is home to Mt. Sunflower, the highest point in Kansas at 4,039-feet. Mechanically-minded people will enjoy visiting the Radiel Wrench Museum, where they’ll find a collection of 10,000 wrenches, and hobbyists of domestic crafts should visit the General Store for bulk food, fabric and sewing supplies, and gifts.
Take a peek into Kansas’s prehistoric story at the Fort Wallace Museum—home to a 40-foot long replica of a plesiosaur fossil discovered in 1867 by the fort’s surgeon. The museum also contains Old West memorabilia and art work that will take you back to the days when legendary Western men, like General Custer, Wild Bill Hickock, and Buffalo Bill Cody, called the fort “The Fightin’est Fort in the West.” And, don’t miss touring the Kansas Pacific Railway’s Superintendent’s Residence. Built in 1879, it is considered to be the finest example of its kind in the West.
Much, Much More!
There are many more fascinating things you’ll find along the 2019 BKRT route, like Erin’s Food Truck that will be featuring a special menu for the tour. Special events, such as a concert series by Michael Martin Murphey that will occur on May 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. Check out the Big Kansas Road Trip website for more information.
NOTE: Sherman and Wallace counties observe Mountain Time. Once you’ve entered these counties you are in a time warp, reversing time one hour!
You can find out more about the BKRT from program organizers Marci Penner and WenDee Rowe at one of the Kansas Sampler Festival’s “Stump “ events. During the 15-minute question/answer games they will provide more insight into the many things to see and do in the three featured counties. The Stump events are scheduled in seven different communities located in the featured counties and the winner will receive a prize from a Stump sponsor!
Don’t Forget to Stop by Trego County on Your Trip West!
The Smoky Valley Scenic Byway has its own adventure waiting for you! Take a break during your adventure at the many great restaurants, shops, and attractions located in Trego County.
We have many notable restaurants serving local delicacies, like bierocks and catfish. Take a seat in the Western Kansas Saloon & Grill, Tropical Mexican Restaurant, Brazen Bull, Mike’s Place, or Jake and Chet’s.
Pick up a treat from our local Pizza Hut, Subway, McDonald’s, or Dairy Queen for an on-the-go treat.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with a soda or shake at Gibson’s Healthmart’s old-fashioned soda fountain or a cookie at Hometown Bakery.
And you’ll want to explore the aisles of Main Street Giftery & Floral, Gibson Health Mart Pharmacy, and Cleland Pharmacy, where you’ll find Kansas-themed gifts and locally made products. You can even memorialize your trip through our county with a turn at the artist’s table at Studio 128 and a bottle of wine from Shiloh Vineyards!
Explore our state on the Big Kansas Road Trip this May 2nd-5th! You’ll find surprises, thrills, and great people along the way.